J: Hey all! My name is Jalisa (Literally the name Lisa with a “Jah” sound in front of it) Williams, I go by Jay for short & I’m a senior majoring in Philosophy at the University of Connecticut, College Basketball Champions of the Nation – Go Huskies!
Did you transition or big chop?
J: I had been a die-hard Dominican blowout/Relaxer child since about the age of 8. I big chopped all my relaxed hair right after high school graduation (June 2011) & instantaneously installed kinky twists. I didn’t start wearing my natural hair until my junior year of college, August 2013. So yes, I wore installments of kinky twists all that time. So that puts me at being just over 3 years natural for the most part. I decided during my senior year of high school that I was actually envious of how my curly locks appeared in my baby pictures and I decided that upon graduation that I would return to my roots and start anew. It was a rough decision to come to at first due to my father’s side of the family, he’s Puerto Rican. My aunts always said I had “pelo malo” – bad hair & my grandma especially, seeing I was her first mixed grandchild with this puff of curls, thought I had the “marca de la bruja” – mark of the witch. However, my mother’s side, she is from the island of Barbados, were so supportive in assisting me to actually return to my natural hair! One of my aunts who actually owns a bakery on the island sent me my first bottle of coconut oil, straight from the West Indies itself. All that time in kinky twists I spent devoted to YouTube & natural hair blogs until I felt ready to take on the responsibility of my own hair.
How would you describe your texture?
J: My hair is thick, dense, and extremely fluffy to say the least! I have predominately 3C/4A strands with my only patches of 4B appearing right above my ears on both sides of my head, weird I know. Overall I’d say that my strands aren’t fine or coarse, just a happy medium between the both ends of that spectrum.
Describe your styling regimen over the course of the month, and the rationale behind your various styling decisions.
J: I’m actually quite boring with my styles; they literally only rotate between 4 options — High bun, twist out, wash and go or the top portion of my hair in a bun with the back flowing free. I’m need help with my creativity, I know! Shea Moisture Curl Enhancing Smoothie is my go to product for all of these styles no matter what; it never lets me down. The mood I’m in is what truly determines my style. If I’m being a super lazy bum then a bun it is until I’m ready to “look pretty”. Otherwise its twist outs and/or wash and go’s for the majority of the time since I get the best definition that way and it shows off my hair color the best. Plus, I can easily get a weeks worth out of both of these styles.
What does wash day look like for you?
J: Wash day, oh boy. It’s a love/hate relationship but I try to remain positive. I’ll do my best to keep this simplified as possible because I don’t want to write an entire story plus, I like my wash day straight to the point so I’ll explain it as such. Once a week, (5–7 days depending on the current hairstyle) I prepoo, Hollywood Beauty Olive Cholesterol, then I add coconut oil as well. Clarifying (1x a month), Lush Daddy O Shampoo, yes I know it has sulfates but my hair loves it & since it’s a deep purple shampoo it really keeps my blonde/brown hair color bright and vibrant. Cowash, Aussie Moist or Tresemme Naturals & then finger detangle with non-latex gloves. Yes I said gloves, and yes the slip it provides with conditioner is life changing. Deep Condition with Aussie 3 Minute Miracle with added honey for extra moisture and my lovely bonnet dryer for heat, Shea Moisture Jamaican Black Castor Oil Leave In and Coconut oil to seal, only adding Shea Moisture Curl Enhancing Smoothie for twist outs. I either air dry, diffuse, or dry with my bonnet attachment.
Describe your favorite go-to hairstyle for days when you don’t have a lot of time to style.
J: My number one go to is definitely the bun. Being a senior in college, staying up late studying, waking up just as early for classes and work & the inconsistent New England weather, the high bun is my savior. Plus , everyone I know thinks it looks so cool with the blonde/brown/black effect of my hair literally in a donut high above my head.
How do you combat shrinkage?
J: I do my best to accept my shrinkage but sometimes I love to see my length just a LITTLE more, ya know?! Twist outs are my go to for that because not only do I keep the curly texture that I’ve grown to love but it elongates day after day after day. Plus my hair color really comes to life and adds so much dimension.
Tell us about your hair color!
J: My hair color is a journey within itself that began this past summer. I finally wanted to be a little adventurous and summer seemed like a great time or so I thought to change up my look. So I went to Target, got a basic “Frost and Glow” blonde kit and ran home to try it out. I put on the bonnet with the holes, pulled some pieces through and came out with pretty blonde streaks outlining the crown and bang area of my head. However, I did not take care of my new found color and in the hot summer sun, it became dry quickly. To add to injury, I was using a modified Denman brush at the time and for some reason, my hair HATES this thing. Ripped hair, severe breakage and blonde highlights were a trifecta of a no this summer. So by September, I cut off 4 inches, and with the right mentality to care for my hair, ditched the Denman (I just finger detangle or use a wide tooth comb from now on) and bought a lightening toner for blonde hair from Sally’s. The product itself is a baby blue when applied to the hair so it counteracts any brassiness or dulling of blonde hair. Sticking only to the front portion of my head, it lightened my previous dark blonde to a honey blonde & brought my natural hair color to a caramel brown, and that’s how I’ve arrived to my present day color.
What are some of your problem areas (if any) that require extra care and attention?
J: Being gentle with my 4B areas while detangling & styling since they tend to be more fragile. Also, taking care of my color treated hair; it’s not a problem per-se but I cannot be lax on deep conditioning, keeping it detangled or using coconut oil in that area or I may go down the same path from this summer.
What are 2 do’s for your texture?
J: Sleeping with my hair in a pineapple every night w/ my satin scarf & prepooing with EVERY wash. I can feel the moisture difference in my hair right away when I don’t prepoo, especially on the color treated parts of my hair.
What are 2 don’ts for your texture?
J: Using ANY brush, especially the Denman even though I had modified it & using Shea Butter as a sealant. It makes my ends gummy and sort of sticky, I just stick to my coconut oil.
Is there a blog/webpage or social media account where we can find you?
J: Come join me on Instagram and Twitter! I don’t have a blog, even though I love reading others. I’m on the go constantly & my Instagram/Twitter accounts are just as efficient for keeping up with all my routines & escapades. Gracias a todos y abrazar sus rizos! – Thank you everyone & embrace your curls!